Trial begins of eight accused in killing of Dutch linesman

One of the players, who was wearing football boots, was reported to have stood on Richard Nieuwenhuizen's head during an Amsterdam youth football match

Seven Dutch teenagers and an adult man accused of kicking a football linesman to death at a junior league match have gone on trial in the Netherlands.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen, a 41-year old father-of-three, was attacked by players from an Amsterdam youth football club after officiating as a linesman in a match on 2 December last year. He was hospitalised immediately but died a day later.

The case shocked and appalled the country. Hundreds turned out for Mr Nieuwenhuizen’s funeral and thousands of matches were cancelled. The killing also ignited a debate about the causes of youth football violence.

Seven teenagers and one father, identified only as “El Hasan D”, appeared in court in the Dutch town of Lelystad, where they faced charges of manslaughter, public violence and brutality. Mr Nieuwenhuizen’s widow and one of his sons arrived at the court but declined to speak to journalists.

“After a long time, your trial is finally beginning,” judge Anja van Holten told the accused. Most had been in detention since the attack. “These will be difficult days for you. We will try to take that into account,” she added.

The prosecution argued that the actions of the eight accused caused Mr Nieuwenhuizen to collapse and subsequently die.

However, defence lawyers said pathologists had identified a tear in the linesman’s carotid artery, which could have been the primary cause of death. Christopher Milroy, a former Scotland Yard pathologist and defence witness at the trial, will testify that he could not rule out that the victim had already been suffering from carotid artery dissection – a separation of the artery walls – which is one of the most common causes of a stroke in young adults.

The prosecution has relied on evidence supplied by the Dutch forensic institute, which has concluded that Nieuwenhuizen died from the injuries he sustained during the attack.

The attackers, including one  15-year-old, deny charges of manslaughter.

The victim had been acting as a linesman for the Buitenboys club in the town of Almere when he was set upon. His own son had been playing in the match.

Four youths were arrested immediately after the attack. Another three teenagers and one of their fathers, a 50-year-old, were arrested a few days later.

Witnesses interviewed by the Dutch television channel RTL4 said that several youth players ran up to Mr Nieuwenhuizen after the final whistle was blown and began attacking him.

One of the players, who was wearing football boots, was reported to have stood on his head. “Then he was kicked three times in the stomach,” one of the witnesses said.

Mr Nieuwenhuizen got up, apparently not seriously affected by the attack, but later collapsed. The accused face a maximum 15 years imprisonment if convicted. The trial is expected to continue for five days.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf